I reblog this every year.And this year I’m going to add one more thing that we should all remember.
Americans are being targeted right now by extremists in our own country. An elderly Sikh man was beaten yesterday while his attackers hurled anti-Muslim slurs at him.
Black Americans are being hunted by the law enforcement officers who are supposed to protect us.
Female Americans are being hunted by pretty much whoever the fuck feels like it.
While you’re busy posting about 9/11 keep in mind that we are a long way from right in this country a lot of the time and a not small number of our citizens are living under the constant threat of terrorist violence, not from ISIS or some other Muslim extremist group but from the religious right, from men, from straight people, from white people, from the police every fucking day.
Never fucking forget.
So everyone knows what today is. Everyone knows that a bunch of people died due to extremism and today everyone is going to bombarded with two things; idiotic “Never Forget,” signs, images, bumper stickers and what not; as well as multiple television shows and movies attempting to re-traumatize the public for cash.
And all we’re going to be told today is that we should never forget. Yeah…thanks. I needed that reminder because the image of two people holding hands as they leapt to their deaths from the higher floors of the North Tower, so as to have some human contact in their last moments on earth, was going to go away any time soon; just,you know, pop right out of my head.
You know what we shouldn’t forget?
We shouldn’t forget that there were actually four planes that crashed that day. One took out a building full of soldiers. One crashed in a field after it was retaken by the passengers. The two others hit two buildings full of people.
Why do so many people focus on the building full of victims rather that the building full of soldiers or a plane full of ordinary Americans who stepped up when it was necessary and made themselves heroes? I think we should never forget the other two planes that crashed.
Guess what else we shouldn’t forget?
The terrorist attack on September 11th wasn’t random. It was the result of two things; religious extremism and global politics.
Notice that I didn’t say Muslim extremism. Yes, the people who attacked the U.S. were Muslims but that is peripheral. Religious extremism isn’t exclusive to Islam as evidenced by the idiot reactions to Park 51.
As a result of the religious extremism that led to the attack on September 11th we, the United States have responded with a level of extremism that makes no logical sense and is, in fact, pathetic and sad.
Somehow, in our strong, tough response to terrorism we’ve embraced the very worst traits of those people who attacked us and shown that what we as a nation mean by strong and tough is actually acting in the most cowardly, counter-Constitutional way possible.
Never forget that repeating the same mistakes are going to lead to the same result. Yes, Mr. President, I am looking at you right now.
Never forget that in the days after September 11th people who looked like they might be Muslims were attacked and in some cases were killed.
Never forget that fear and panic are exactly the reactions that the people flying those planes on September 11th wanted.
Never forget that religious extremism is what is happening right now in the United States. Go to any right leaning website and do a search for the word Muslim. You’ll see what I mean.
Never forget that September 11th is the event that led our nation into signing away our civil rights in the form of the Patriot Act.
Never forget that September 11th is the event led directly to a war we never should have fought in which 4400 American service men and women gave their lives and countless civilians died.
Never forget that the U.S. tortured people.
Never forget that part of the reason that the U.S. was targeted was our own actions and our subsequent inaction. That doesn’t, in any way, justify the actions of the terrorists but it’s something that we need to cop to.
Never forget that the U.S. has been selectively meddling in the Middle East for decades and doing so with little regard for the wishes of those in the region or the sovereignty of the nations therein.
Never forget that the events of September 11th are far more nuanced and complex than any t-shirt or very special episode can possibly cover.
You want to memorialize September 11th? Remember that real patriots respect Islam. Remember pluralism, the concept that two or three or thirty-seven, divergent ideas can and must exist in the same nation at the same time and each be equally respected. Remember that we the people have a responsibility to the nation and the Constitution to stand up for our fellow Americans, no matter what religion or nation of origin.
Remember that. While you’re at it, remember that all of the memorials that are showing on TV are happening for profit and all the memorials that are happening in the media are too.
Remember, that grieving is a process and if you are still in the exact same mental and emotional place, wherein you are afraid to leave the house on this day and you cry and cry all day long, you should probably go talk to a professional because you are kind of stuck on step one.
Remember, most of all, that if you are one of those people who are reliving every moment of the attacks on social media or in person you are very likely triggering the shit out of someone else. Also, you’re being really ghoulish. Stop it.
Then remember this:
If you can’t express your support for a candidate without also being extra racist, you are failing. Return to Step 1.
If your response to #BlackLivesMatter is any variation of all lives mattering you sound like this:
and you’re failing. Return to Step 1.
If you think that the proper response to any of the above is to rush toward my comments section with ill-conceived confidence to explain your truly true truth.
Fucking stop. Return to Step 1.
Instead, be this guy and others like him who raise up Black voices and Black issues.